KATHMANDU, Nov 10: The lights and the tradition of ‘deusi and bhailo’ make Tihar more enjoyable than any other festival. Children are now devising new ways to celebrate Tihar along with the fun they are sure to have. While some of them plan to collect money they receive during the rounds of bhailo, some plan to extend their help to the needy.
A Baluwatar resident, Sisham Shrestha from Newton High School will be playing bhailo in her own tole with her friends. They are planning to do it better this time than the previous year. Her group has already started practicing dance routines. They plan to pull in more money and for that they have applied a different idea. They will be performing in typical old classics. “I’m dancing in an old song called Maitighar. Apparently, such performances receive a lot of tips,” says Sisham.
She plans to use the money earned a little differently this year. In the previous years, the money would be spent on a picnic but now she plans to save some for her college fees and help needy people with the rest. She says that if she saves the money for her college, the financial burden on her parents will be lessened. “Helpless people will be happy on the streets, parents will be happy at home,” she says. Simran Shrestha, who lives in the same community, will also be playing bhailo with a small group of friends. She states that she will also be saving her share of the money.
Last year, Sisham’s friend lost an eye due to an accident with a firecracker and now she suggests that people should not play with them. A jhirjhire (firecracker) is much safer if people really feel like playing with crackers. She says that Jenish Lama, also from Baluwatar, lost an eye when he stepped on a cracker left by someone else.
Jasmine Chakradhan and Saddichha Khadgi from Naxal are friends. Though Jasmine is a Muslim, she joins in the revelry of bhailo and she wants to go around this year too. Previously, she used the money to buy a computer. She says that she will be saving the money in her piggy bank. As they don’t have the necessary musical instruments, they will just be singing the words of the bhailo.
Bidya Adhikari, a student of grade eight in Pathshala Nepal Foundation, says that she will be celebrating Tihar and dancing during bhailo. Apart from that, she plans to learn to make rangoli and cook selroti with her mother. Her money earned will be used to help old people. However, her classmate, Kaushal Bhandari will be celebrating Tihar in the school where he will be learning how to make sweets. He says that there will be a competition amongst friends during the making of the sweets.
Tihar at school
Pathshala Nepal Foundation will be celebrating Tihar at school. The curriculum of te school includes celebrating different festivals and like other festivals, Tihar is also being celebrated there. The school plans to host a Tihar program on November 12.
Students from different classes have been delegated responsibilities for the program. Program coordinator, Upasana Shrestha, a teacher, says that the students will be handling everything on that day. Parents are also invited to celebrate that day where Lakshmi Puja, Ma Puja, bhai tika, deusi bhailo and a variety of dishes will be arranged by the students.
Students from class one to class nine are participating in the program. Students of class one have the responsibility of making sweets. Class two and three will be playing deusi and bhailo. “A day before Lakshmi Puja, they will be going to each others’ classrooms and playing deusi bhailo and collecting money,” says Shrestha. The class who will be giving money will do so in a proper manner, with a decorated nanglo.
Students of class four will be performing the Lakshmi Puja and those from class five will be doing the Ma Puja. Garlands will be made by class six students and they will be decorating the school doors. Class seven students will be competing to make good rangolis. Senior classes eight and nine will be preparing selroti and sweets.
Coordinator Shrestha explains that the school has been celebrating festivals since its establishment. This gives the students practical knowledge about the tradition. She also states that discussions on the festivals are held while celebrating them. “After the discussion, a summary also has to be written about the advantages and disadvantages of each festival,” says Shrestha.